Have you ever considered the insane number of thoughts and questions that go into completing one single task?
Take making a pot of coffee, for example. When I wake up in the morning, still groggy with bad hair and eyes filled with sleep crumbs, I paddle down to the kitchen and immediately I’m forced to make so many decisions:
Do I want flavored coffee or the typical Folgers?
Should I grind the beans to get a fresh flavor or am I okay with the ground coffee that’s ready to go?
How much should I make? How much do I realistically want to drink?
What cup should I use?
Will I be in a morning video chat where I need to not use my cup with cats or shirtless tattooed men on them?
For one simple task – making coffee – a gazillion thoughts/questions are running through my mind. And that’s just coffee. Think about other normal activities that you complete throughout the day – deciding what you’ll wear for work, thinking about where you’ll meet a friend for happy hour after work, if you like or dislike that new song on the radio, if you feel like beer or wine during happy hour, what you need to do first at work, what your boss will say when you ask for that day off next month, and the list goes on.
Well, there’s a reason this is overwhelming and it’s because according to Psychology Today, “It has been estimated that an average brain has anywhere from 25,000 to 50,000 thoughts a day and 70% of them are believed to be negative.”
So, now put yourself back into the car situation from a few sentences up and instead of thinking about those things, dig a little deeper – your thoughts might be something like the following:
Does this shirt make me look fat? I mean I know I’m gaining weight… I shouldn’t have worn this to happy hour. What if there’s a cute bartender? Chances are I’d mess that up too. I can’t flirt. I’m so painfully bad at flirting… I guess I’ll be alone forever. Which is fine because I want to be really great at my career and go far… but I guess if I’m alone forever, maybe I won’t have kids. I can spend that money on vacations! Vacations… alone.
Okay, yes I know that’s an extreme example but in that example, it’s easy to see how thoughts/questions that we face can take a negative turn and it can take that turn quickly.
It’s pretty damn shocking.
With over half of our thoughts being overtaken by negativity, it’s not hard to fall into the accompanying mindset. You know the one I’m talking about – the one where you think you’re not good enough, not smart enough, not pretty enough, not witty enough, and the list goes on.
It would be one thing if we all lived on rainbow clouds of cotton candy, nothing we ate ever made us fat, and we all have low stress-high paying jobs. But, ya know… that’s not quite how life works.
Instead we’re constantly facing challenges each and every day that really stretch us to our limits and encourage us to make snap decisions. That’s a lot of pressure.
So, when our mind is filled with 25,000+ thoughts per day and with – let’s say – 25% of those thoughts being negative, how do we ensure that we’re flipping the odds in our favor?
For me, I’ve found that I need something around me that will give me a kick in the (sweat)pants and remind me that I’m pretty badass.
Because when we’re constantly allowing that voice in our head to speak and fill the space with thoughts and thoughts and then more thoughts, it’s easy to follow down that rabbit hole of distractions and, possibly, negativity. And I don’t know about you but I’d rather my head be filled with optimism and positivity rather than my own self questioning my ability to do X, Y, and then Z.
If there’s something you can do or something you can look at that will shake you out of the mess of things running through your head and remind you to stop, breathe, and then continue being amazing, why wouldn’t you acknowledge it?
It can be a note that you keep on your desk that says, “Keep being a Rockstar.” It can be a list of affirmations you keep in your phone in the notepad app to read out loud when you’re about to go into a big meeting or have a tough conversation with a loved one. It can even be as simple as a wearing a lucky pair of socks when you just need that extra little boost.
I don’t know exactly when or why I decided to start wearing and stacking what I call ‘power bracelets’ but I’ve been wearing these babies for about a month now and I can’t stop. It’s like I’m collecting Pokemon – can’t stop, won’t stop.
I’m currently stacking a dainty gold bracelet that has the words, “Good Vibes Only” in script with a Lokai bracelet for balance. And because I love the reminder, the balance, and the way that just looking down and breathing re-centers me when I’m having a moment, I just purchased an absolutely stunning bracelet from The Crystalline Moon for focus and intention.
I know, I know… it’s starting to sound pretty hippy, right?
I get it but here’s the thing – I don’t want to lose you here JUST because that’s my thing.
It absolutely, positively does not need to be yours.
You know what does have to be yours? Any sort of note, trinket, bracelet, sentence in an app, whatever that you can look at when you’re stressed, overwhelmed, upset, or depressed that can anchor you.
I want you to have something that you can turn to in a moment of need to remind you that you’re a badass rockstar that can’t be stopped. That you’re a good friend who has to have a tough conversation only because you care. That you’re going to earn that raise. You’re going to be a better partner in your relationship. That you’re not your environment or your situation. You’re more than a moment of defeat or panic.
That you’ve got this.
I want you to have something that breaks though the negative thoughts and puts something positive into that moment.
Because with an abundance of negative thoughts crowding our mind and vying for our attention as we’re also being bombarded by messages in our Facebook newsfeed, Instagram stories, coworkers, peers, and everything else, it’s easy to lose your positive mentality and confidence.
Find what works for you – what gets you to stop, breathe, and center yourself – and keep that around you for a few weeks. If you try looking at it when you’re in a panic and it doesn’t work, go ahead and put it away. Then try something else that might work.
It’s not rocket science and it’s not something that only a few people can experience.
Take control of your days and your thoughts and ensure they’re working for you – those thoughts are building you up, encouraging you to work smarter, and to run full steam ahead towards the goals you have. To stop you from getting sidetracked or distracted by “the tough stuff” or negativity.
Because you’re more than negativity. You’re better than the negativity.
P.S. Quick shoutout to The Crystalline Moon ❤
My bracelet wasn’t able to make the header photo because it’s not yet in my possession BUT I didn’t want to leave it out because look at this gorgeous piece… *drool